The 10 Best Faux Leather Leggings to Buy Before Fall Arrives

editor@purewow.com (PureWow)
·9 mins read

There are few cool-weather outfits we love more than leggings and an oversize sweater. Or leggings and a T-shirt. Or leggings and a blazer….you get it. We’re into faux-leather leggings in particular because they can dress up almost any cozy ensemble without sacrificing an ounce of comfort. So, we set out to find the best faux-leather leggings that money can buy for petite women, pregnant women, patent-finish fans, budget shoppers and everything in between. Here are our top ten.

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1. Spanx Faux-Leather Leggings

Best Overall

Multiple PureWow staffers own and rave about these leggings (some even have multiple pairs), but we are not the only mega-fans. The Spanx style are consistently awarded five-star ratings and have accrued incredibly positive reviews on Nordstrom, Amazon and Zappos (just to name a few). “I love the fact that they have a subtle shine, rather than a patent finish or that awful garbage bag look so many faux-leathers end up with,” said one fan. “But what I really love is the fact that these have that built-in Spanx shaping technology that makes my butt look so amazing, even without a single squat.” Indeed, these leggings feature a contoured Power Waistband which smooths and flattens your tummy and makes your bum look extra perky. One thing to note, however: Many reviewers suggested ordering one size up from what the size chart suggests for a more comfortable, less constricting fit.

Buy it ($98; $65)

Available in sizes XS to 3X, Petite and Tall

2. Commando Faux Patent-Leather Perfect Control Leggings

Best Patent-Leather Finish

If a super high shine is what you’re after, you can’t beat Commando’s patent finish leggings. They come in classic black, disco-inspired white and deep burgundy, all of which look way more expensive than their $68 price tag. “These pants are amazing! They look like liquid and they're surprisingly very comfortable” said one Amazon reviewer. As for sizing? The same shopper notes: “I'm usually between a small and medium. I bought a medium and they fit perfectly. Once they're on they don't cut into your waist or love handles because they're high-waisted.” You should expect a little bit of squeaking with the first wear (this is pretty typical for any patent leather pants, and lots of matte-finish leather, too), but luckily there is a simple fix—take a small dab of unscented body lotion or face oil and rub it between your hands, then gently swipe it onto the section of the leather that’s squeaking (be sure to test the lotion first on an inconspicuous spot to make sure it won’t cause damage). Use a microfiber towel to remove any excess and voilà! No more squeaking or creaking.

Buy It ($98)

Available in sizes XS to 3X

3. Lyssé Plus High-Waist Faux-Leather Leggings

Best Plus-Size

Perhaps the best thing about these leggings is how much they look like real leather. The two front seams also make them look like expensive trousers, rather than sporty leggings and, even better, they fit beautifully. They also won’t stretch out or sag in the knees or bum over the course of the day, while the 12-inch rise helps to smooth your midsection and hips. Oh, and did we mention they’re machine washable? Said one fan, “I have a couple of real leather pants and leggings, and these almost look like the real thing. In fact, because I don't have to worry about maintenance (no need for special leather cleaning; no worries about these stretching out), they are almost better.”

Buy it ($118)

Available in sizes 1X to 3X, also XS to XL

4. Wilfred Free Daria Pant Vegan-Leather Leggings

Best for Tall Women

Although these faux-leather leggings aren’t billed as tall or long, we’ve found they’ve got a more generous inseam than most other pairs on this list (clocking in at 33 inches), so they’re well suited for gals 5’10” and up. Though they do come in a cropped version, which would be a great option for those of a more average height. These Wilfred leggings come in both classic black and a caramel-hued brown and have a high rise for smoothing your tummy and preventing any whale-tail situations. The Japanese vegan leather is specifically woven to prevent bagging and won’t lose its shape over time, even if you wear these multiple times a week. Notes one reviewer, who works as a bartender, “They go on a little tight, but you can feel them forming to your body. They're so comfortable, nice and long (I have ridiculously long legs that no legging seem[s] to be long enough for), and best of all, they stay put! I have never had a pair of these that don't slip down while I'm running around behind the bar. They even stay in place while I’m crouched down stocking coolers!”

Buy it ($138)

Available in sizes XXS to XL

5. Spanx Petite Faux-Leather Leggings

Best for Petite Women

Yes, Spanx has already been mentioned here, but when it comes to leggings for the 5’2” and under crowd, there’s still nothing that can top this fan favorite. With a 26-inch inseam, they won’t pool at your ankles unlike many cropped styles (which, to be honest, were never going to look cropped on you anyway). Plus, a 9 ½-inch rise is high enough to comfortably cover your midriff without going all the way up to your bust. Like the regular and tall lengths, Spanx’s petite leggings tend to run small, and we recommend sizing up for comfort. “I love these leggings. They almost look like leather pants and love how they snatch my stomach and legs,” said one Nordstrom reviewer. “Have gotten many compliments on these. I’m 5’1 and 143 pounds and got a medium petite. They are a little tight but I prefer them snug.”

Buy it ($98)

Available in sizes XS to XL

6. David Lerner Maternity Vegan-Leather Leggings

Best for Pregnant Women

Comfort is key for maternity wear, but that doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice style to get there. A soft jersey waistband accommodates your ever-growing belly, without feeling restrictive. Meanwhile, the faux-leather fabric of the legs is super lightweight (who wants to deal with shimmying into or out of heavy, sweaty leggings?) with a subtle shine that looks great with both cozy oversize knits for lounging at home or a flowy blouse for more dressed-up occasions.

Buy It ($77)

Available in sizes XS to L

7. Plush Fleece-Lined Liquid Leggings

Best for Cold Weather

Faux leather tends to keep you fairly warm, but for truly cold winter days you’ll probably want a little extra something to keep your stems from freezing over, especially if you’re opting for leggings over true pants. Enter Plush, a brand dedicated entirely to fleece-lined leggings and tights that will keep you nice and cozy without adding any bulk or causing you to overheat once you go indoors. As a bonus, that fleece layer further helps to smooth out your silhouette without the constrictive feeling of shapewear. As for how it stands up to the cold? Take it from one Chicago reviewer who said “Highly recommend! They are so comfortable, warm and soft for those windy Chicago winters. And no additional layers required.”

Buy It ($83; $46)

Available in sizes XS to L

8. Express Super Hugh-Waisted Vegan Leather Ankle Leggings

Best Budget-Friendly Option

With more than 110 reviews (many of which are repeat buyers) and a 91 percent recommendation rate, we think it’s safe to say these Express leggings are likely one of the brand’s top sellers. In fact, they continue to be restocked year after year, sometimes with the addition of olive, navy and burgundy color options (no word on whether or not Express will be offering hues other than black this fall). Reviewers were pleasantly surprised by the thickness of the material for the price, which won’t go sheer when you bend over and has a bonus tummy-control effect thanks to the incredibly high rise. Said one shopper, “I’ve been searching for a pair of faux-leather leggings and after wasting money on cheaper ones, I decided on these. Love!! Exactly what I was looking for, not too shiny and they are thicker than others I’ve gotten.”

Buy it ($50; $25)

Available in sizes XXS to XL, and Petite

9. Wolford Estella Faux-Leather Leggings

Best Splurge-Worthy Option

If you’re willing to invest big bucks on a pair of long-lasting, flattering faux-leather leggings, you really can’t do better than Wolford. The popular British hoisery company puts a huge onus on fit across its entire product range and these slimming leggings are no exception. Reviewers loved the smoothing effect of a tight fit at the hips and bum, while the ankles are slightly looser, for more of a skinny trouser silhouette. The same could be said for any of the leggings on this list, but because the sizing is being converted from international sizing, we highly recommend measuring yourself and double checking the guide and reviews to ensure you get the perfect fit.

Buy it ($425)

Available in sizes 34 to 42 (US 4 to US 10)

10. Blank NYC Vegan-Leather Legging

Best Faux-Leather Leggings That Look Like Pants

For those who still aren’t convinced that leggings should indeed be worn as pants, look for a pair with additional detailing at the waist, like this Blank NYC style. Additional seaming along the waistband mimics the look of traditional pants, and fake back pockets help add to that illusion. Unlike a regular pair of pants, however, these leggings fit like a glove from hip to ankle and won’t gap at the rear or stretch out over time. As you can see in the picture above, the rise on these is not as high as the others on this list. According to one Amazon reviewer, “I really loved these. I got a size 31 and I am typically a size 12. They fit perfect. Very flattering. Not binding at the top. They actually look so much like leather someone thought they were real leather. These are super comfortable.”

From $46 at Amazon

Available in sizes 24 to 31

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